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The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

Athletics facilities update: Softball stadium dugout project underway, track renderings near completion

Two new projects for athletics at California Lutheran University include upgrading the softball stadium’s dugouts and developing a track for track and field athletes. Construction on the softball stadium’s dugouts has begun, while the track is in the final stages of the design phase.  

According to Cal Lutheran Capital Projects Architect Christine Cano, she is in charge of all new construction projects, and right now, she said she is working on the softball dugouts and with consultants regarding the track. 

Cano said the softball stadium will be a big improvement, as the dugouts will include concrete block walls, storage rooms and toilets. There has been no delay in the softball stadium’s dugouts project, Cano said, but design and construction documents and the permitting process with the city have taken a little time. 

“We were speed tracking it, and the whole idea was to get it built for this coming season. The first softball game is February 1st and that’s what our target is; to get them on the field for their first game,” Cano said.

Head Softball Coach Debby Day said the team is excited about the new dugouts and the convenience they will bring for the athletes. 

“To use the restroom now we have to come all the way in the building and it’s a major disruption to games and practices. Also, having a place where they can store all their gear right at our field will make their lives easier rather than having to cart it to and from their cars every day,” Day said.

Day said the softball team has been using the baseball field for fall workouts due to construction, and said the baseball players have been generous to let them share the field.

“It’s a big testament to the kind of guys that are in our baseball program that have not blinked when we’ve asked to share their space and be out there. We’re just really grateful to them and their coaches for allowing us to share it,” Day said. 

Cano said this is the first phase of the softball stadium project, and the next phase will include the replacement of the old bleachers stadium structure. 

“This is phase one, so we’re not in the bleachers stadium structure phase yet. I push and push, but we can only do so much with what we have money for. I’m really happy that we at least got some things,” Cano said. 

Interim Director of Athletics Howard Davis said the track project is progressing nicely and the final renderings are near completion.

“The Board of Regents has invested $100,000 into architectural renderings of three different options for a track stadium buildout. The university, including athletic department personnel and the architectural firm, have met several times on rendering and offered input for changes,” Davis said. 

One of the priorities for the project, Cano said, was getting approval from the Board of Regents for what funds would be available. Once that was received, Cano said they contracted with the architect. 

“We’re doing three options. One really small that would just fit and would provide a practice track, and medium which would have the bleachers, and finally the full size which would have a field house,” Cano said.

Brett Halvaks, head coach for Cal Lutheran’s cross country and track and field teams said the track will be a significant benefit for the men’s and women’s track and field teams.

“It’s going to be huge for our student-athletes and for recruiting as well, bringing more athletes to campus,” Halvaks said. “It will allow our current student-athletes to have a place to call home and get to practice and compete on campus versus never getting to have any home meets here.”

According to Halvaks, the track and field teams are primarily practicing and having meets at Moorpark High School. He said it will be very helpful for the team culture to have the players in the same place for meets and practices. 

“I’ve been in most of the meetings for the track project rendering and they’ve come back to me and asked for my input to make sure things are set up where they need to be,” Halvaks said. 

If there are no construction or weather delays, Cano said the softball dugouts will be complete by February 2024. She said when the track’s renderings are done, the information will go to an advancement team to work on a donor and funding.

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